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Arts, Culture, Creative Industries, and New Media

(Church, Bern, Switzerland - Alvin Wei-Cheng Wong)


Creativity, Imagination, Innovation


- Creative Economy

A creative economy is based on people's use of their creative imagination to increase an idea's value. Definitions of a modern creative economy continue to evolve. When John Howkins popularized the term “creative economy” in 2001, he applied the term to the arts, cultural goods and services, toys and games, and research and development. The most common models of the creative economy share many elements. Howkins’ creativity-based model includes all kinds of creativity, whether expressed in art or innovation. The narrower culture-based models concentrate on arts, design and media and are normally restricted to nominated industries. The term increasingly refers to all economic activity that depends on a person's individual creativity for its economic value whether the result has a cultural element or not. In this usage, the creative economy occurs wherever individual creativity is the main source of value and the main cause of a transaction. 

There are several ways to measure a creative economy. It is possible to use the same indicators as in other economies, such as producer outputs, consumer expenditure, employment and trade. Businesses also use valuation, value chains, price and transactional data. There are additional indicators of intellectual property. However, measuring intangibles such as ideas, design, brands and style presents a challenge. Furthermore, the nature of work is different, with a high proportion of part-time workers and with many transactions being non-financial. 

Governments have been slow to adjust their national statistics to capture the new forms of creative occupations, productions and transactions. As a result, national data on employment, GDP and trade is often unreliable. America and the UK are in the process of adjusting their national statistics to measure their creative economies more accurately.


- Cultural and Creative Industries

Cultural and creative industries are the economic activities of artists, arts enterprises, and cultural entrepreneurs in the production, distribution and consumption of film, literature, theatre, dance, visual arts, broadcasting, fashion, and culinary arts. New digital and information and communication technologies have revolutionized the industry's production process, distribution channels, and consumption modes.

The creative sector has strong linkages with tourism. In some major cities and tourist destinations, cultural tourism is estimated to be as high as 50% of annual visitor arrivals. In addition, cultural tourists tend to spend more on local goods and services than the average visitor.

In economic terms, the cultural and creative sector is globally one of the fastest growing. These industries offer more sustainable development options than traditional exports because the sector draws on the creativity of local artists and entrepreneurs, generating higher levels of local value-added. Moreover, the sector has strong growth potential and plays a key role in the arena of identity formation.

Now more than ever, we must appreciate and grow our creative global economy. To do so, the United Nations has declared 2021 as the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development. Since this year-long international observance was first declared in 2019, we have seen an even greater need for innovation to promote inclusive, sustainable economic growth around the world. Fostering innovation necessitates the provision of benefits, empowerment, and opportunities for all.



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